Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 1844–1853 | Cite as

Dietary Intakes of Preschool-Aged Children in Relation to Caregivers’ Race/Ethnicity, Acculturation, and Demographic Characteristics: Results from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey

  • Temitope O. Erinosho
  • David Berrigan
  • Frances E. Thompson
  • Richard P. Moser
  • Linda C. Nebeling
  • Amy L. Yaroch


Few studies have examined the influence of acculturation on dietary behaviors of young children while controlling for other demographic variables. The purpose of this study was to assess reported dietary intakes of preschool-aged children (3–5 years) and subsequent associations with caregivers’ race/ethnicity, acculturation and demographic characteristics, using data from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). Analysis was restricted to Hispanic and non-Hispanic white caregivers and their preschool-aged children (n = 1,105). Caregivers’ acculturation was assessed using place of birth, duration of United States residence, and language spoken at home. Proxy-reports by caregivers to a dietary screener were used to estimate children’s intakes of fruit, 100% fruit juice, vegetables, sweets, and sugar-sweetened beverages consumed. In multivariate analyses, Hispanic caregivers reported their children consumed fewer servings of vegetables than did the children of non-Hispanic white caregivers; there were no other statistically significant differences in children’s dietary intakes by caregivers’ race/ethnicity. Caregivers’ acculturation was associated with caregiver-reported consumption of sweets by children (β = 0.09, 95%CI = 0.01–0.18). Demographic characteristics that were associated with reported dietary intakes of children included caregivers’ age, education, and geographic region of residence. In contrast to past studies of acculturation and diet in older children and adults, this study suggests that for 3–5 year olds, caregivers’ level of acculturation does not play as strong a role in the dietary intakes of the younger children under their care.


Acculturation Demographics Dietary intakes Young children California health interview survey 



The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance of Chris Zeruto and Tim McNeel of Information Management Services, Inc. (IMS) with data analyses.


  1. 1.
    United States Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). Dietary guidelines for Americans, 2010. Available at Accessed August 1, 2011.
  2. 2.
    Krebs-Smith, S. M., et al. (2010). Americans do not meet federal dietary recommendations. Journal of Nutrition, 140(10), 1832–1838.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Reedy, J., & Krebs-Smith, S. M. (2010). Dietary sources of energy, solid fats, and added sugars among children and adolescents in the United States. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 110(10), 1477–1484.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Colon-Ramos, U., et al. (2009). Differences in fruits and vegetables among Hispanic subgroups in California: Results from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(11), 1878–1885.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lancaster, K. J., et al. (2006). Dietary intake and risk of coronary heart disease differ among ethnic subgroups of Black Americans. Journal of Nutrition, 136(2), 446–451.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Perez-Escamilla, R., & Putnik, P. (2007). The role of acculturation in nutrition, lifestyle, and incidence of type 2 diabetes among Latinos. Journal of Nutrition, 137(4), 860–870.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Satia-Abouta, J., et al. (2002). Dietary acculturation: Applications to nutrition research and dietetics (perspectives in practice). Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 102(8), 1105–1118.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Satia, J. (2010). Dietary acculturation and the nutrition transition: An overview. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 35(2), 219–223.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ayala, G. X., et al. (2008). A systematic review of the relationship between acculturation and diet among Latinos in the United States: Implications for future research. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108(8), 1330–1344.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Powell, C. M., et al. (2007). Nutritional content of television food advertisements seen by children and adolescents in the United States. Pediatrics, 120(3), 576–583.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Batada, A., et al. (2008). Nine out of 10 food advertisements shown during Saturday morning children’s television programming are for foods high in fat, sodium, or added sugars, or low in nutrients. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108(4), 673–678.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dave, J. M., et al. (2009). Associations among food insecurity, acculturation, demographic factors, and fruit and vegetable intake at home in Hispanic children. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(2), 697–701.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Allen, M. L., et al. (2007). Adolescent participation in preventive health behaviors, physical activity, and nutrition: Differences across immigrant generations for Asians and Latinos compared with Whites. American Journal of Public Health, 97(4), 337–343.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kaplan, C. P., et al. (2003). Health-compromising behaviors among Vietnamese adolescents: The role of education and extracurricular activities. Journal of Adolescent Health, 32(5), 374–383.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gordon-Larsen, P., et al. (2003). Acculturation and overweight-related behaviors among Hispanic immigrants to the US: the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Social Science and Medicine, 57(11), 2023–2034.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Elder, J. P., et al. (2005). Acculturation, parent-child acculturation differential, and chronic disease risk factors in a Mexican-American population. Journal of Immigrant Health, 7(1), 1–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Batis, C., et al. (2011). Food acculturation drives dietary differences among Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and non-Hispanic whites. Journal of Nutrition, 141(10), 1898–1906.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Davison, K. K., & Birch, L. L. (2001). Childhood overweight: A contextual model and recommendations for future research. Obesity Reviews, 2(3), 159–171.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Birch, L. L., & Fisher, J. O. (1998). Development of eating behaviors among children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 101(3 Pt. 2), 539–549.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    California Health Interview Survey. (2007). CHIS 2007 methodology report series. Report 1: Sample design. Available at Accessed May 15, 2009.
  21. 21.
    California Health Interview Survey. (2007). CHIS 2007 county sample. Available at Accessed May 14, 2009.
  22. 22.
    US Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). Code of federal regulations: Part 46, protection of human subjects. Available at Accessed December 21, 2010.
  23. 23.
    Uretsky, M. C., & Mathiesen, S. G. (2007). The effects of years lived in the United States on the general health status of California’s foreign-born populations. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 9(2), 125–136.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kandula, N. R., et al. (2008). Association of acculturation levels and prevalence of diabetes in the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA). Diabetes Care, 31(8), 1621–1628.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Zea, M., et al. (2003). The abbreviated multidimensional acculturation scale: Empirical validation with two Latino/Latina samples. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 9(2), 107–126.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wallace, P. M., et al. (2010). A review of acculturation measures and their utility in studies promoting Latino health. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science, 32(1), 37–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    California Health Interview Survey. (2007). CHIS 2007 methodology report series, report 5: Weighting and variance estimation. Available at Accessed August 1, 2011.
  28. 28.
    Messer, E. (1986). Some like it sweet: Estimating sweetness preferences and sucrose intakes from ethnographic and experimental data. American Anthropologist, 88(3), 637–647.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Mennella, J. A., et al. (2005). Infant feeding practices and early flavor experiences in Mexican infants: An intra-cultural study. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 105(6), 908–915.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Mennella, J. A., et al. (2006). Feeding infants and toddlers study: The types of foods fed to Hispanic infants and toddlers. Journal of American Dietetic Association, 106(1 Suppl. 1), S96–S106.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Taveras, E. M., et al. (2010). Racial/ethnic differences in early-life risk factors for childhood obesity. Pediatrics, 125(4), 686–695.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition. (2001). The use and misuse of fruit juice in pediatrics. Pediatrics, 107(5), 1210–1213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Dennison, B. A., et al. (1997). Excess fruit juice consumption by preschool-aged children is associated with short stature and obesity. Pediatrics, 99(1), 15–22.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Dubois, L., et al. (2007). Regular sugar-sweetened beverage consumption between meals increases the risk of overweight among preschool-aged children. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 107(6), 924–934.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ludwig, D. S., et al. (2001). Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: A prospective, observational analysis. Lancet, 357(9255), 505–508.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Krebs-Smith, S. M., et al. (1996). Fruit and vegetable intakes of children and adolescents in the United States. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 150(1), 81–86.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Basch, C. E., et al. (1994). 5 A day: Dietary behavior and the fruit and vegetable intake of Latino children. American Journal of Public Health, 84(5), 814–818.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Block, G., et al. (1995). Sources of energy and six nutrients in diets of low-income Hispanic-American women and their children: Quantitative data from HHANES, 1982–1984. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 95(2), 195–208.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Sharma, S., et al. (2004). Adherence to the food guide pyramid recommendations among African Americans and Latinos: Results from the Multiethnic Cohort. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 104(12), 1873–1877.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Himmelgreen, D. A., et al. (2005). The longer you stay, the bigger you get: Birthplace, length of time in the US, and language are associated with diet among inner-city Puerto Rican women. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 44(1), 105–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Neuhouser, M. L., et al. (2004). Higher fat intake and lower fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater acculturation among Mexicans living in Washington State. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 104(1), 51–57.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Norman, S., et al. (2004). Comparing acculturation models in evaluating dietary habits among low-income Hispanic women. Ethnicity and Disease, 14(3), 399–404.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Kim, J., & Chan, M. M. (2004). Acculturation and dietary habits of Korean Americans. British Journal of Nutrition, 91(3), 469–478.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Lv, N., & Cason, K. L. (2004). Dietary pattern change and acculturation of Chinese Americans in Pennsylvania. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 104(5), 771–778.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Norman, S., et al. (2004). Comparing acculturation models in evaluating dietary habits among low-income Hispanic women. Ethnicity and Disease, 14(3), 399–404.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Lara, M., et al. (2005). Acculturation and Latino health in the United States: A review of the literature and its sociopolitical context. Annual Review of Public Health, 26, 367–397.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Berrigan, D., et al. (2010). Cognitive testing of physical activity and acculturation questions in recent and long-term Latino immigrants. BMC Public Health. Available at Accessed June 15, 2011.
  48. 48.
    Ayala, G. X., et al. (2007). Association between family variables and Mexican American children’s dietary behaviors. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 39(2), 62–69.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Hendricks, K., et al. (2006). Maternal and child characteristics associated with infant and toddler feeding practices. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 106(Suppl 1), S135–S148.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Jones, L. R., et al. (2010). Influences on child fruit and vegetable intake: Sociodemographic, parental and child factors in a longitudinal cohort study. Public Health Nutrition, 13(7), 1122–1130.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Ramirez-Silva, I., et al. (2009). Fruit and vegetable intake in the Mexican population: Results from the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey, 2006. Salud Publica de Mexico, 51(Suppl 4), S574–S585.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Kranz, S., et al. (2008). Use of the revised children’s diet quality index to assess preschooler’s diet quality, its sociodemographic predictors, and its association with body weight status. Jornal de Pediatria (Rio J), 84(1), 26–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Girois, S. B., et al. (2001). A comparison of knowledge and attitudes about diet and health among 35- to 75 year old adults in the United States and Geneva, Switzerland. American Journal of Public Health, 91(3), 418–424.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Kearney, M., et al. (1998). Attitudes toward and beliefs about nutrition and health among a nationally representative sample of Irish adults: Application of logistic regression modeling. Journal of Nutrition Education, 30(3), 139–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Kearney, J. M., et al. (2001). Attitudes towards and beliefs about nutrition and health among a random sample of adults in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Public Health Nutrition, 4(5A), 1117–1126.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Lennernas, M., et al. (1997). Influences on food choice perceived to be important by nationally-representative samples of adults in the European Union. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 51(Suppl. 2), S8–S15.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Powell, L. M., et al. (2007). Food store availability and neighborhood characteristics in the United States. Preventive Medicine, 44(3), 189–195.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Liese, A. D., et al. (2007). Food store types, availability and cost of foods in a rural environment. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 107(11), 1916–1923.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Franco, M., et al. (2008). Neighborhood characteristics and availability of healthy foods in Baltimore. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 35(6), 561–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Hu, S. S., et al. (2010). The impact of cell phones on public health surveillance. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 88(11). Available at Accessed November 7, 2011.
  61. 61.
    Blumberg, S. J., & Luke, J. V. (2011). Wireless substitution: Early release of estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, July–December 2009. Available at Accessed November 7, 2011.
  62. 62.
    Lepkowski, J. M., et al. (2008). Advances in telephone survey methodology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Link, M. W., et al. (2007). Reaching the U.S. cell phone generation: Comparison of cell phone survey results with an ongoing landline telephone survey. Public Opinion Quarterly, 71(5), 814–839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Eck, L. H., et al. (1989). Recall of a child’s intake from one meal: Are parents accurate? Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 89(6), 784–789.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Klesges, R. C., et al. (1988). Accuracy of self-reports of food intake in obese and normal weight individuals: Effects of parental obesity on reports of children’s dietary intake. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 48(5), 1252–1256.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    United States Census Bureau. (2011). State and county quick facts. Available at Accessed November 22, 2011.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Temitope O. Erinosho
    • 1
  • David Berrigan
    • 2
  • Frances E. Thompson
    • 3
  • Richard P. Moser
    • 4
  • Linda C. Nebeling
    • 5
  • Amy L. Yaroch
    • 6
  1. 1.The Department of NutritionCenter for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Applied Research ProgramUS National Cancer InstituteBethesdaMaryland
  3. 3.Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods BranchUS National Cancer InstituteBethesdaMaryland
  4. 4.Behavioral Research ProgramUS National Cancer InstituteBethesdaMaryland
  5. 5.Health Promotion Research BranchUS National Cancer InstituteBethesdaMaryland
  6. 6.Gretchen Swanson Center for NutritionOmahaNebraska

Personalised recommendations